Friday, March 19, 2010


Here is a cubic kusudama folded from the heart flower variation.

There are some pluses and some minuses. The flower petals are longer and wider. This hides the connecting pieces quite well. On the other hand, this is a difficult model to put together. At first the connections between flowers were folded into pockets on the back/inside of the model. This became more problematic as the model neared completion. The last five folds were folded from and into pockets on the front.


Here is a variation on the heart flower. In this model the heart shape is formed on the corners instead of the center sides.

Once again, the differently colored sections provide information about the size of the five paper additions to the basic flower unit. There position on the crease pattern are an approximation of their final place in the flower unit. Once again, the side additions connect the flowers together without glue but this time they are folded slightly differently from those used for the other heart flower. (See the photos in the following posting.)

By the way, many of my creations appear on my Flicker Photostream before they make it into my blog. If you are curious about what is in my origami pipeline you can look there.
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Recently, a reader requested information about one of my origami lanterns which she hoped to fold for her upcoming wedding. Unfortunately the item has not been diagrammed yet and the lid section is not an easy component for a near novice folder to fold or to put together.

I informed the reader that many kusudama models an be easily modified to become lanterns and I referred her to a kusudama of Russian origin which featured heart shapes, a theme which seemed appropriate for a wedding.

Contrary to the conventional rules of origami, that model required that the folder make cuts in the paper. I guess this cross between Kirigami (the art of paper cutting) and Origami (the art of paper folding)could be referred to as Kirorigami.

I found myself wondering if the model could be modified so that it was not necessary to make cuts in the paper. So I experimented.

I came up with the following model. It has a number of features which differentiate if from the Russian original, including the fact that it incorporates several pieces into each flower unit and that these units can be connected without glue.

The CP is included for those who can follow such things. The differently colored squares are the same size as the additional pieces required, and in approximately the same position from which they will be folded into the model. The center piece is not folded and simply sliped into the center of the flower. The corner pieces connect the flowers together. One of the photos shows how this is folded. A folded corner is folded together with a corner of the flower. This is held firmly in position when the sides of the heart shape are folded over at the back.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


One of my favorite signs of an immanent Spring is the many trees which burst into blossom around this time. First the fruitless pears become a froth of white and then the peach and prunus trees shower us in pink confetti.

This hexagon based quilt is appropriate for the season with its pink flowers backed by salmon colored sepals and buff colored connectors.

Although the crease patterns look complicated this is not a terribly difficult model to fold. Nor is it particularly time consuming, as modulars go. The example was designed and folded in a day.

When I get around to making Step Folds and a set of diagrams it should be within the reach of all but the novice folder.

The quilt follows my usual practice in having a carrier module (with the salmon colored sepals or outer petals), a central flower which is tucked inside the center of the carrier module and connecting units which are folded over the edges of the module and tucked firmly inside.

The model does not require glue and is quite sturdy. It sits flat because of the hexagonal shape of the basic modules.

I am currently working on a pentagonal variation which, of course, does not sit flat and will form itself into another in my series of flower balls.

The hexagons which form the carrier case and the flower are derived from a sheet of American Letter or A4 sized paper. See previous entries for links to instructions on how to make a hexagon from a sheet of copy paper. After folding, the bottom and top flaps are cut off to form the hexagon shape.

The connector units are derived from a similarly folded sheet which has been cut to size according to the pattern
shown here. This time the bottom and top flaps are retained.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Here is another kusudama which does not require glue to keep it together.

The construction uses a combination of regular pentagons and squares. Take a look at the table of pieces to see what these are.

The pentagons can be folded from a square and cut to size, or they can be drawn up on an graphic image program and printed out directly onto colored copy paper (used here) or onto plain copy paper which is then used as a template. Lay the template over decorative paper and attached with clips, magnets on each side of the paper or repositional glue. Cut out the pieces.

If you use the model as a lamp it is recommended that you use the new generation 7 watt LED globes which replace 60 -100 watt incandescent globes. At this stage of their development they are rather expensive although this will no doubt change as they become popular and production runs increase. Do not use cheaper globes as they are made to a different pattern and fail to give out much light.